A quirky bird or two

I took a metalwork class last weekend at The Whimsical Bead. And it was so much fun! I learned to cut shapes out of copper, file edges smooth, texture with a hammer, rivet and screw pieces together, and finished off by oxidising the completed pieces. And I also made my first clasps!

The class was taught by Robyn and Julie Wilson from Deegan Designs, who sell a range of whimsical, steampunk-inspired jewellery. You can see some of their wonderful creations here. We made a simpler version of their quirky bird design, as both a brooch and a pendant. I took a few photos as my pieces progressed.

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Here I have finished cutting out, filing and texturing the birds and wings (I paired the wrong wings with the birds in these pictures). That’s probably me reflected in the shiny metal.

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This picture shows the completed birds, before their bath in Liver of Sulphur, which oxidises the copper from shiny to dark in seconds.

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Here is the brooch. It’s hard to see in the photograph but there are some lovely colours—almost like an oil slick—on the bird’s body and wings, from the oxidising process. The longer the copper is left in the Liver of Sulphur solution, the darker it goes—my pieces were only in there for a few seconds. I lightly sanded back the oxidation around the edges to give a bit of definition to the shape, but left the rest of the body and wings as they came out. The pieces have also been sealed front and back with a metal sealer to stop further oxidation.

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And here is the necklace. You can see the colours in this one a bit better. Note the clasp—I made that too!

I have some more copper sheet, wire and a few screws to play with, and enough tools to be dangerous! So you may see some more from me soon!

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